The popularity of fusion restaurants has driven a real standard of excellence for this style of cuisine and lucky for us, we get to reap the benefits of this drive. To that end, Michelin has taken notice and has awarded its much-coveted Michelin Star award to several great fusion restaurants including these.
Since 1985, 28+ has been – as they note – “An inspiration for new tastes and impressions. Always with the ambition to seek new knowledge and convey our experiences to you.A high-class food culture without excessive ceremony. But with great respect for what the season has to offer. Without compromises.” And they’re doing it well enough to have earned a Michelin Star. You can choose to sit in the main dining room or opt for private dining in their Chambre Separée. The menus change ever 4th to 6th week so there is always something new. The fusion in this equation is the French and Swedish influences.
Michelin notes that they create “intricate, flavourful dishes” and adds that they have “an exceptional cheese selection and an outstanding wine list.”
While Kitsune adamantly denies that they’re a modern fusion restaurant, that’s how Michelin classified them when they were awarded their Michelin Star so they have few complaints. They do note that they “are not a Japanese restaurant aiming for the label of authentic, traditional, or modern “fusion.” We simply incorporate fundamental techniques, flavor profiles, Japanese culinary philosophies, and comfort into our menus. We are not to be over-thought, yet our goal is to make you think. Kitsune Restaurant and Pub focuses on Midwestern bounty, influenced by home-style Japanese cuisine. The menus change with the seasons and are intentionally focused on the purity of ingredients of our local farmers.” A sample dish that is quite popular is the Barley “risotto”, hoshigaki, miso roasted eggplant, walnuts, soy beans, pickled fresno, and goat cheese.
While they’ve not earned a Michelin Star yet, Michelin has taken note of Nomica and has awarded them The Plate Michelin badge which is a distinction for restaurants that they launched in 2016 to make note of restaurants that “simply serve good food”. Nomica describes themselves as a “Modern Japanese cuisine & drinking house” and notes that they are a “fresh, contemporary take on Japanese cuisine, set in the vibrant Upper Market neighborhood of San Francisco. A sister to the highly awarded Sushi Ran in Sausalito, Nomica puts an urban twist on innovative Japanese food. Nomica’s name (Noe-Mission-Castro), a nod to our vibrant neighborhood, by happy coincidence, also means “drinking house” in Japanese. Our full bar features creative cocktails made with awamori, a traditional Okinawan spirit.”
Michelin notes that “despite the culinary culture clash, Nomica’s food is playful and satisfying, and anxious foodies bend over backwards to score an advance order of its coveted whole chicken in brioche (which requires 24 hours’ notice).”
Autre Kyo Ya
Another restaurant that Michelin classified with The Plate Michelin and another that will certainly earn a star sooner than later is Autre Kyo Ya in New York. The younger, more hip sibling of the popular, Michelin Star-rated Japanese kaiseki house Kyo Ya, Autre Kyo Ya fuses Japanese cuisine with French influences quite successfully. One favorite is the Berkshire pork belly Kamadaki rice pot in a garlic-ginger sauce. Their menu is sourced both locally as well as from Japan and they note that their concept “is to share various dishes to be able to fully enjoy our dining experience with us.” Their cocktail menu as well as bar menu delights as well.
Michelin notes that while the space is more casual than the more traditional Kyo Ya, the real draw with Autre Kyo Ya is the food which is a “a unique collection of Japanese dishes amped up with French influences and cooking techniques”.
As the experimentation with techniques and different cuisines continues, we’re certain to see more Michelin-Starred fusion restaurants. So, have you tried any of the fusion restaurants on our list? To learn more about the Michelin process, you will want to also read Fine Dining: What Does it Take to Get a Michelin Star?